Are too many cups of coffee per day bad for your health? This issue has been examined by many studies. Researchers have reached the conclusion that if you drink a few cups of coffee a day, the result is harmless. Drinking 10 cups of coffee per day, however, is considered extreme and is a habit that is better avoided. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of excessive coffee drinking, as well as to develop an awareness of the withdrawal symptoms you might experience as you work to reduce your caffeine intake.
The Impact of Coffee on the Body
Caffeine is a diuretic that stimulates your nervous system. When you drink coffee, the caffeine is quickly absorbed by your body and passes to your brain. Your body doesn’t store the caffeine and eliminates it within hours of drinking coffee.
For some people, drinking coffee can help reduce migraine headaches. Caffeine has also been used as a way to relieve drowsiness, low energy or fatigue. A common association with coffee is in relation to its impact on intoxicated people. Coffee does not affect alcohol levels in the body, and therefore, does not speed up recovery from intoxication, contrary to popular belief.
Side Effects of Too Many Cups of Coffee
Drinking a few cups of coffee per day is considered moderate intake. If you drink 10 or more 8 oz. cups of coffee each day, you are likely to suffer from a series of side effects. Dehydration, nausea, rapid heartbeat, shaking and difficulty sleeping are just some of the side effects of drinking too much coffee.
If you drink moderate amounts of coffee each day, you will likely not suffer from extreme symptoms. Moderate coffee intake has also been studied in relationship to heart disease, birth defects and reproductive issues; no negative effects were found. If you have a heart condition, an ulcer or are pregnant, your medical practitioner might recommend that you limit or eliminate coffee from your diet. The caffeine in coffee may also have negative interactions with any medications you may be taking. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you will not experience any problems.
Dealing with Caffeine Withdrawal
If you have been drinking an excessive amount of coffee each day and want to scale back, the best approach is to start to slowly cut down on the number of cups of coffee you drink each day. Caffeine withdrawal can have its own symptoms. Irritability, headaches and drowsiness are some of the symptoms you might experience if you suddenly cut all caffeine from your diet. You can slowly reduce your intake to moderate levels. Or, if you have been advised by your doctor to completely eliminate caffeine from your diet, you might drink decaffeinated coffee instead, switch to other hot beverages, such as herbal teas, or find more nutritious drinks, such as fresh juices.
On the whole, a few cups of coffee each day will not harm you. Be sure, however, to check with a medical professional if you feel any unusual symptoms.